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Faithmapping: A Gospel Atlas for Your Spiritual Journey Paperback – January 31, 2013
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“Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper are wise guides for the journey. In Faithmapping they set out a pattern for personal discipleship and the life of the faithful Christian in the local church. I welcome this book.”
—R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“These days, it seems like ‘gospel-centered’ books are a dime a dozen. Yet, Faithmapping isn’t anything if it’s not unique. The missional focus of this contribution to the gospel-centered movement is a breath of fresh air. Well done.”
—Ed Stetzer, Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism, Wheaton College
“Faithmapping is excellent. When I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it, and when I was reading it, I didn’t want to put it down. It is theologically profound and yet very easy to read.”
—Jessica Thompson, author, Everyday Grace; coauthor, Give Them Grace
“Daniel Montgomery and Mike Cosper are human torches, afire with the gospel and igniting the dry kindling all around them. This book, full of gospel beauty and Bible wisdom, can light up the path in front of you, as you walk the path God is stretching out before your feet. Read it, and feel the fire.”
—Russell D. Moore, president, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention; author, Onward
About the Author
Daniel Montgomery (MDiv, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the founder and lead pastor of Sojourn Community Church and founder of Sojourn Network.
Mike Cosper is the director of the Harbor Institute for Faith and Culture, where he works to create resources for Christians living in a post-Christian world. Prior to that, he was a founding pastor at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he served for sixteen years as the pastor of worship and arts.
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Top Customer Reviews
This life is centered in the gospel of Jesus. In the midst of Christian fads and pendulum swings, they present one gospel that can be viewed through three interconnected aspects. The Gospel of the Kingdom: life with God as it was intended to be, under God's rule and reign, has come. The Gospel of the Cross: through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we have been made right with God. And the Gospel of Grace: God accepts us and shares his life freely with us at Christ's expense. Each aspect is shown to be integrally related to the others and is vividly illustrated. This gospel brings us into God's one Church, in which we live out five identities: we are worshipers, family, servants, disciples, and witnesses. The context for living these out is the world: our location (homes and neighborhoods), vocation, recreation, restoration (meeting needs), and multiplication.
I can say with certainty that the content of "Faithmapping" (as I've been exposed to it through the ministries of Sojourn over the past 2 years) has helped me make connections in my thinking that have changed the way I live and brought clarity to the way I communicate the gospel. It alleviates the tension often felt between how the gospel changes life here and now, how we enter that life, and what we look forward to in hope. It's given me a grid for thinking through what I read. It's grounded ministry opportunities by forcing me to think through how various aspects of the gospel and our identity are communicated through my everyday conversations, small group discussions, and service opportunities. Most importantly, it's contributed to broadening the way I try to remind myself of the gospel when I find myself drifting.
In terms of potential weaknesses of the book, Part 3 (Whole World) cries out for a fuller treatment. The nature of the book is that each part can be "zoomed in" on, just like you could look at a Google map of the US, zoom in on Kentucky, and then Louisville. Volumes have been written on the subjects of the various chapters, and a helpful list for further reading has been provided. But Part 3 seemed especially short and somewhat hurried, and no further reading list is provided for this section, giving it a somewhat "tacked on" feel. It's rich stuff - but really needs more space.
I'm thankful for Montgomery and Cosper, and for the way God has gifted them in holding together His truth and presenting it with clarity and imagination. Get your hands on a copy no matter where you're at on your spiritual journey, and have a highlighter ready. You'll be wanting to talk about this one together with others on the path.
(Note to the editor/publisher: another minor weakness of the book as it stands is multiple typographical errors that were a bit distracting [misspelled words, phrases repeated, etc.. would love to see these corrected in the next printing.]
The lack of direction that the church faces today is undoubtedly visible, and most assuredly not a new phenomenon. Given the significance this poses, Montgomery and Cosper's framework attempts to bring the church back to the center of its faith and practice. For the authors, the answer to this dilemma rests in clarifying what the Bible says concerning these questions and acknowledging that a wholistic, balanced approach is essential to the Christian life. To explain this, the remainder of the book is devoted to elaborating on the framework of the Whole Gospel, the Whole Church, and the Whole World.
While reading through Faithmapping, the most consistent strength I noticed was clarity. From the organization of the chapters to the repetition of the concept "whole", one can easily understand and apply the framework. By far, the second strongest element was the authors' desire to see a balance across the board in the area of understanding and living out the Whole Gospel. Today's church is largely divided into different `tribes' of churches that tend to camp out on one aspect of the gospel - God's Kingdom, Cross, or Grace. Addressing both the trappings and the essential good of each gospel aspect helps us to bring our attention to the necessity of the three aspects of the gospel. By reducing the "gospel" to only one aspect, the Church is missing out on the beauty, depth, and richness of the whole gospel.
In Faithmapping, the authors also suggest five identities that were perfectly displayed in the person of Jesus Christ. These are not the only identities that we can live out, but they are ways that we can identify first, who we are in Christ and second, how what we do flows from this reality. The authors' emphasis on balance, again, presents a more biblical and much broader scope for what it means to be a Christian. A narrow gospel produces narrow Christians, while a whole gospel invites Christians into the journey of their faith - a life of renewal and powerful change.
As for a weakness, opposed to the vast majority of the book, the ending of the book seemed to be loosely put together and lacked the finality of a strong argument. The neglect to restate their argument and where they had taken the reader made the ending appear unresolved. In addition, the last part - " The Whole World" - lacked the level of clarity and development apparent in the first two parts.
This excellent read impacted me as I was convicted by my own narrow-minded tendencies in understanding and preaching the gospel. It is as though I have been given a pair of new glasses and am now able to see blind spots in my own heart and life where a different articulation of the gospel is needed. This book can and should be used in any context. From forming a vision for the local church to sharing with your neighbor God's desire for the world, this simple framework is solid. Montgomery and Cosper have crafted a much-needed addition to the current literature on spiritual formation. I would recommend this book to any and every Christian seeking clarity in the church today - to the scholar and stay-at-home mom alike. The pastor-authors have written an accessible work, full of necessary personal reflection and insight.
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